Russian Life

Articles from Vol. 46, No. 5, September-October

Calendar
1953 SEPTEMBER 1 Fifty years ago, the new Moscow State University building was opened on Vorobyovy (Sparrow) Hills. A monument to Mikhail Lomonosov was also unveiled at the university on the same day. The main building of the university is 32...
Events
FLORIDA Russian State Museum Exhibition from the Russian State Museum For the very first time, over 250 superlative objects from The State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia will leave their home and travel to the United States. Artifacts...
Heirs to Gagarin
When we asked photographer Igor Shpilenok to offer a few words about his wilderness images that comprise our 2004 Wall Calendar (see ad, page 1), here is what he said: Most of my fellow countrymen who were proud of Russia's achievements in space...
Kalmykia: Reviving the Dusty Plain
We are standing on what was once the vast, smooth floor of the Caspian Sea. Today, not a drop of water glistens within sight. The parched semi-desert plain, flat as a pancake, extends in all directions. There is not a single tree or telephone pole...
King David
On September 30, celebrated violinist David Oistrakh, one of the founders of the Russian violin school, soloist of the Moscow Philharmonic Society and Professor of the Moscow Conservatory, would have turned 95. David Fyodorovich Oistrakh was born...
Kremlin vs. Yukos: Oil Company Caught in Kremlin Sights
A major pre-election battle unfolded in Russia this summer, as the country's biggest oil giant, Yukos, was confronted by the Kremlin. The campaign began when Yukos's second-largest shareholder and chairman of Menatep bank, Platon Lebedev, 43, was led...
Pickle This!
The Russians have long favored garlic, a fact commented upon by early Western European visitors to the country. Both Baron Sigismund von Herberstein, who visited the court of Grand Prince Vasily Ivanovich in the early sixteenth century, and Adam Olearius,...
Russia Engages the World
Russia Engages the World, 1453-1825, a major new exhibition, opens October 3 at The New York Public Library. The exhibition will remain on view through January 31, 2004. The Library will also present two symposia, a series of lectures, a film series,...
Russia Goes to the Polls
When Americans go to the polls to elect their congressmen, mayors and city council members, they usually have one thing on their minds issues. Will the candidate support a tax hike? What's his stance on abortion? Smoking in public places? The war in...
Russian Nature Defending
In Western Russia, a shrouded figure hurtles through a boggy glade, flapping a white cotton cloak. Behind her run two fawn-colored chicks, Siberian cranes, among the most endangered birds on Earth. Ten weeks old and over three feet tall, the chicks...
Russia's Space Odyssey
BAIKONUR, KAZAKHSTAN -- The Central Asian steppe lights up and air billows as a nearly 300-ton Soyuz rocket roars into the night sky. The projectile arches over southern Siberia and the Pacific Ocean, shedding its spent stages before the last, upper...
The Cost of Conscience
Alexander Galich (real name--Ginzburg), actor, playwright and poet, deed in exile in Paris in 1977. His early death was brought on by a tragic accident--he was electrocuted while trying to fix a stereo system--and he was buried at Sainte-Genevieve-des-Bois...
Vegetarian Disses and Disguises
Long before advertisements anthropomorphized soft-drinks and candy into cartoon characters, people "animated" the food they grew by assigning it human qualities. Take vegetables. If, out of the blue, a Russian acquaintance one day calls you a "cucumber,"...
Venichka's Poem
The mystic of suburban trains and cheap drinking, Venidict Erofeev (or Venichka, as he is affectionately known to Russians, and which is also the name of the main character of his most famous work), is one of the most brilliant figures in contemporary...
Where East Becomes West
I. I woke early It was not even nine. I lay in bed with my eyes closed. I washed up, then walked to the store to buy myself some breakfast, but the store was closed. At a stall I bought myself a Choco-Pie. I kissed my wife and kids, and my...